Events

ANTIGONE: Women in Fibre Art

*Featured photo: Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, Installation View at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2023. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London/Rome. Copyright Karen Bengall 


Richard Saltoun Gallery London
January 31  – March 18 2023

Richard Saltoun Gallery is delighted to inaugurate the 2023 exhibition programme with Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, a group show celebrating the rich Eastern European textile art tradition. Focusing on gallery artists Jagoda Buić and Barbara Levittoux-Świderska, the exhibition will situate their pivotal fibre sculptures alongside rare works by two other pioneers, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Ewa Pachucka, and new work by a younger generation, Anna Perach and Egle Jauncems.

The exhibition title honours the late Buić referencing her work named after the heroine of Sofocle’s greek tragedy, who confronted archaic laws in the name of a modern moral sentiment. Like Antigone, Abakanowicz, Buić, Levittoux-Świderska, and Pachucka opposed the traditional view of textiles as specifically feminine, decorative, and low in the artistic hierarchy, elevating them to fine art. In the 1960s and 1970s, they revolutionised the millennia-old tapestry tradition to a point that a new term was coined to describe it: fibre art. Their weaved, knotted, plaited, coiled, and even braided creations that forsake flatness and embraced tridimensionality, expanding freely in the space. The feminist movements of the time contributed greatly to the rise of fibre art on the international scene. Indeed, many of the most prominent fibre artists are women.


Image gallery: Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, Installation View at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2023. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London/Rome. Copyright Karen Bengall 

Magdalena Abakanovicz (1930–2017) and Barbara Levittoux-Świderska (1933–2019) were the most prominent members of the Polish Textile School, a post-war generation of artists who incorporated locally sourced materials in their practice while also responding to repressive ideology of the country’s socialist regime. Abakanovicz’s earliest works were monumental hanging textiles, which she named “Abakans”, and functioned as both objects and spaces. Quite different and less dense, Levittoux-Świderska’s large-scale, cascading fibre installations used natural fibres woven or glued with synthetic materials such as wire, plastic or industrial scraps.

Barbara LEVITTOUX-ŚWIDERSKA 1933 - 2019 Fire [Pożar], 1974 Sisal, rope, metal 250 x 400 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Magdalena ABAKANOWICZ 1930 - 2017 Bordeaux, 1969 Signed and dated verso Sisal and horsehair 125 x 107 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Barbara LEVITTOUX-ŚWIDERSKA 1933 - 2019 Cuboid [Prostopadłościan], 1980 c. Glue, synthetic fabric, plastic foil 95 x 265 x 95 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

Equally, Croatian artist Jagoda Buić (1930–2022) was credited with pioneering innovative textile forms in contemporary arts. Known for her vast installations made out of textile cords, hemp and wool, and experiments with unusual surface textures, Buić was also a successful costume and set designer for opera, ballet, theatre and film productions. By dispensing with the traditional loom, she gave her works – which she called ‘tapestry situations’ – a new and powerful corporeality, boldly venturing into space and creating large-scale environments. Notably, Buić featured in MoMA’s pivotal 1969 exhibition “Wall Hangings” alongside 27 other independent weavers who adopted off-loom techniques and operated in the world of art, including Abakanowicz and another member of the Polish School: Ewa Pachucka. Pachucka (1936–2020) crocheted distinctive three-dimensional forms made of hemp cords, jute, and sisal with openwork decorations. Some resembled vertical architectures, while others – known as the “Clothing” series – resembled garments with human forms and bodily character, reminiscent of artificial skins.

Jagoda BUIC 1930 - 2022 White Relief, 1970 - 75 Woven signature to lower left ‘J Buić’ Wool, metallic thread 163 x 224 x 1 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Jagoda BUIĆ 1930 - 2022 Dubrovnik, 1973 Wool 80 x 64 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Ewa PACHUCKA 1936 - 2020 The Open man, 1969 Signed, titled and dated on artists label inside. Sisal, crochet. 124 x 47 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

The connection with the human body returns in the work of Anna Perach (b.1985), who creates colourful wearable sculptures – using a technique called tufting – and performances that examine the dynamic between personal and cultural stories. Perach is particularly interested in how our private narratives are deeply rooted in ancient folklore and storytelling. Her work interweaves female archetypes into sculptural hybrids in order to examine ideas of identity, gender, and craft. Equally colourful, the wall-hung textile assemblages of Lithuanian artist Egle Jauncems (b.1984) express her ongoing investigations into male power, the history of painting, and the relationship between truth and appearance. The principal aspects of Egle Jauncems’ practice develop through a continuous search for the parallels between the rational and irrational, contemporary and primitive, and the relevant and irrelevant. The starting point of her visual analysis often revolves around found imagery, pieces of text and overheard conversations. Later, she transforms these fragments – through the act of painting, drawing and stitching – into objects, or even beings, of pathos and irony.

Anna PERACH 1985 - Expansion X, 2023 Axminster yarn, glass and English Oak wood 215 x 120 x 105 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Self Decapitation, 2022 Watercolour and marker on paper 23 x 30 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Face, 2022 Tufted yarn, wooden stand Head with arm: 34 x 38 x 34 cm Head only: 34 x 22 x 3 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Hand, 2022 Tufted yarn, wooden stand Hand with arm: 39 x 40 x 12 cm Hand only: 37 x 23 x 1.5 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Egle JAUNCEMS 1984 - Untitled, 2021 Acrylic on paper 59 x 58 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Egle JAUNCEMS 1984 - The Paler King II Oil on linen and canvas, metal rod and hooks 170 x 100 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

Richard Saltoun Gallery 41 Dover Street
London W1S 4NS
www.richardsaltoun.com

info@richardsaltoun.com
+44 (0) 207 637 1225

Opening hours:
Tue to Fri: 10am – 6pm Saturday, 11am – 5pm Or by appointment

Eventi

ANTIGONE: Women in Fibre Art

*Foto in evidenza: Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, Installation View at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2023. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London/Rome. Copyright Karen Bengall 


Richard Saltoun Gallery London
31 gennaio – 18 marzo 2023

La Richard Saltoun Gallery è lieta di inaugurare il programma espositivo 2023 con Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, una mostra collettiva che intende celebrare la ricca tradizione dell’arte tessile dell’Europa orientale. Incentrata sulle artiste della galleria Jagoda Buić e Barbara Levittoux-Świderska, la mostra collocherà le loro più importanti sculture in fibra accanto a opere inusuali di altre due pioniere, Magdalena Abakanowicz e Ewa Pachucka, e a lavori di Anna Perach e Egle Jauncems, esponenti della nuova generazione.

Il titolo della mostra celebra la memoria della Buić, un riferimento al suo lavoro che prende il nome dall’eroina della tragedia greca di Sofocle, la quale affrontò le leggi arcaiche in nome di un moderno sentimento morale. Come Antigone, Abakanowicz, Buić, Levittoux-Świderska e Pachucka si sono opposte alla visione tradizionale dei tessuti come specificamente femminili, decorativi e di scarso livello nella gerarchia artistica, elevandoli alo status di belle arti. Negli anni Sessanta e Settanta hanno rivoluzionato la tradizione millenaria dell’arazzo, al punto che è stato coniato un nuovo termine per descriverlo: fibre art. Le loro creazioni tessute, annodate, legate, arrotolate e persino intrecciate rinunciavano alla piattezza e abbracciavano la tridimensionalità, espandendosi liberamente nello spazio. I movimenti femministi dell’epoca contribuirono notevolmente all’ascesa della fibre art sulla scena internazionale, soprattutto perché molti dei più importanti artisti della fibra sono donne.


Galleria immagini: Antigone: Women in Fibre Art, Installation View at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2023. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London/Rome. Copyright Karen Bengall 

Magdalena Abakanovicz (1930-2017) e Barbara Levittoux-Świderska (1933-2019) sono state le esponenti di spicco della Scuola tessile polacca, una generazione di artisti del dopoguerra che ha introdotto nella propria pratica materiali di provenienza locale, rispondendo al contempo all’ideologia repressiva del regime socialista del Paese. Le prime opere di Abakanovicz erano monumentali tessuti appesi, che lei chiamava “Abakans”, e funzionavano sia come oggetti che come spazi. Molto diverse e meno corpose, le grandi installazioni di fibre a cascata di Levittoux-Świderska utilizzano fibre naturali intrecciate o incollate con materiali sintetici come fili di ferro, plastica o scarti industriali.

Barbara LEVITTOUX-ŚWIDERSKA 1933 - 2019 Fire [Pożar], 1974 Sisal, rope, metal 250 x 400 cm. © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Magdalena ABAKANOWICZ 1930 - 2017 Bordeaux, 1969 Signed and dated verso Sisal and horsehair 125 x 107 cm. © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Barbara LEVITTOUX-ŚWIDERSKA 1933 - 2019 Cuboid [Prostopadłościan], 1980 c. Glue, synthetic fabric, plastic foil 95 x 265 x 95 cm. © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

Analogamente, all’artista croata Jagoda Buić (1930-2022) è stato riconosciuto il merito di essere stata pioniera di forme tessili innovative nelle arti contemporanee. Conosciuta per le sue vaste installazioni fatte di corde tessili, canapa e lana, e per gli esperimenti con texture insolite, Buić è stata anche una costumista e scenografa di successo per produzioni per l’opera, balletti, teatro e cinema. Rinunciando al telaio tradizionale, ha conferito alle sue opere, che ha definito “vicine all’arazzo”, una nuova e potente corporeità, avventurandosi con coraggio nello spazio e creando ambienti su larga scala. In particolare, Buić ha partecipato alla storica mostra del MoMA del 1969 “Wall Hangings” insieme ad altri 27 tessitori indipendenti che avevano adottato tecniche off-loom (tessere senza il telaio) e operavano nel mondo dell’arte, tra cui Abakanowicz e un altro membro della Scuola polacca: Ewa Pachucka. Pachucka (1936-2020) realizzava all’uncinetto particolari forme tridimensionali fatte di corde di canapa, juta e sisal con decorazioni traforate. Alcune assomigliano ad architetture verticali, mentre altre – conosciute come la serie “Clothing” – assomigliano a indumenti con forme umane e carattere corporeo, che ricordano pelli artificiali.

Jagoda BUIC 1930 - 2022 White Relief, 1970 - 75 Woven signature to lower left ‘J Buić’ Wool, metallic thread 163 x 224 x 1 cm. © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Jagoda BUIĆ 1930 - 2022 Dubrovnik, 1973 Wool 80 x 64 cm. © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Ewa PACHUCKA 1936 - 2020 The Open man, 1969 Signed, titled and dated on artists label inside. Sisal, crochet. 124 x 47 cm © The Estate of the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

Il legame con il corpo umano ritorna nel lavoro di Anna Perach (nata nel 1985), che crea sculture colorate da indossare utilizzando una tecnica chiamata tufting, oltre a performance che esaminano la dinamica tra storie personali e culturali. Perach è particolarmente interessata a come le nostre narrazioni private siano profondamente radicate nel folklore e nella narrazione antica. Il suo lavoro intreccia archetipi femminili in ibridi scultorei per esaminare le idee di identità, genere e artigianato. Altrettanto colorati, gli assemblaggi tessili appesi a parete dell’artista lituana Egle Jauncems (nata nel 1984) esprimono la sua continua ricerca sul potere maschile, sulla storia della pittura e sul rapporto tra verità e apparenza. Gli aspetti principali della pratica di Egle Jauncems si sviluppano attraverso una continua ricerca di parallelismi tra razionale e irrazionale, contemporaneo e primitivo, rilevante e irrilevante. Il punto di partenza della sua analisi visiva ruota spesso intorno a immagini recuperate, stralci di testo e conversazioni ascoltate. In seguito, trasforma questi frammenti – mediante l’atto di dipingere, disegnare e cucire – in oggetti, o addirittura esseri, carichi di pathos e ironia.

Anna PERACH 1985 - Expansion X, 2023 Axminster yarn, glass and English Oak wood 215 x 120 x 105 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Self Decapitation, 2022 Watercolour and marker on paper 23 x 30 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Face, 2022 Tufted yarn, wooden stand Head with arm: 34 x 38 x 34 cm Head only: 34 x 22 x 3 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Anna PERACH 1985 - Hand, 2022 Tufted yarn, wooden stand Hand with arm: 39 x 40 x 12 cm Hand only: 37 x 23 x 1.5 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Egle JAUNCEMS 1984 - Untitled, 2021 Acrylic on paper 59 x 58 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome
Egle JAUNCEMS 1984 - The Paler King II Oil on linen and canvas, metal rod and hooks 170 x 100 cm © The Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London and Rome

Richard Saltoun Gallery 41 Dover Street
London W1S 4NS
www.richardsaltoun.com

info@richardsaltoun.com
+44 (0) 207 637 1225

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